Ravens vs. Browns Prediction: Baltimore Can Clinch Top Spot in AFC

NFL Playoffs 2020

Getty Lamar Jackson celebrates a touchdown.

The Baltimore Ravens are 9.5-point favorites over the Cleveland Browns in Sunday’s AFC North showdown at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Baltimore (12-2) has the inside track for the No. 1 seed in the AFC and can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory on Sunday. The Ravens have been obliterating everyone in their path during a 10-game winning streak. Their last loss was in Week 4 against the Browns. Lamar Jackson threw two of his six interceptions this season in the 40-25 home loss to Cleveland. Baltimore is ranked 3rd in the NFL with 6.2 yards per play.

Cleveland (6-8) is not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but it would take a miracle for them to sneak in as they not only need to win out but also have the Steelers and Titans both lose out. It’s been an erratic season for Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense. The team has regressed under head coach Freddie Kitchens as Cleveland is 21st in the NFL averaging just 21.2 points per game. Mayfield has thrown 17 touchdowns and 17 interceptions this season. 

ESPN’s FPI gives Baltimore a 78.5% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Sunday’s AFC North matchup between the Ravens and Browns. 

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Ravens vs. Browns Game Details

Date: Sunday, December 22
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland, Ohio)
Spread: Ravens -9.5
Total: 49.5

*All lines, odds, and trends are courtesy of Covers & The Action Network

Line Movement

This line opened at Ravens -7 and has been bet up to Ravens -9.5 with the majority of the bets and money coming in on Baltimore. This line is correlated with the action and is moving with the market.

Betting Trends

  • Ravens are 12-2 SU and 8-6 ATS this season
  • Browns are 6-8 SU and 5-8-1 ATS this season
  • Over is 8-6 in Ravens games this season
  • Over is 7-7 in Browns games this season

Analysis & Picks

This is a massive revenge spot for Baltimore. Their loss to the Browns way back at the beginning of the season is the last time the Ravens suffered a setback. Baker Mayfield had his best passing game of the season, throwing for 342 yards with a touchdown and adding another score on the ground. I’m betting on Mayfield not being able to repeat that performance against a streaking Ravens defense that is allowing just 13.6 points per game over the last 5 games. Lamar Jackson has already clinched the MVP award in my eyes and has nothing more to prove here. However, I do like that the Ravens are coming off 10-days rest after their win last Thursday over the Jets. I’ll take the rested Ravens to exact revenge against Baker and the Browns. I also think the first half spread is a good bet, as I can see Baltimore getting off to a fast start but the back door being open in the second half if Jackson heads to the bench.

PICK: Ravens -9.5

READ NEXTSaints vs. Titans Prediction: Tennessee Clings to Playoff Hopes

Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith